For the first time, the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Latium Villa Adriana Antiquarium opens an exhibition dedicated to Antinous. Fifty works including sculptures, reliefs, gems and coins tell the strong ties that bound the Emperor Hadrian to the young Bithynian youth.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog published by Electa, the first Italian-date monograph, which reconstructs the figure of ancient history and the seductiveness of the taste.
In memory of Antinous, the beautiful, young, lover of Hadrian, who he met in Bithynia, and brought with him to Rome, Hadrian built the Antinoeion. It came to light in excavations conducted by the Superintendent between 2002 and 2005, when it was recognized as the tomb-temple designed to honor Antinous’ memory.
On the occasion of the exhibition, there will be a walk presented to visit the archaeological remains of the Antinoeion. Currently, they are legible and the perimeter of the site. Present are the large exedra, fronted by two separate temples and an obelisk, which today is on the ‘Pincio’, the terrace where you can see all of Rome. The buildings were richly decorated with animals, sculptures, and Egyptian bas-reliefs, some of them exhibited on this occasion.
The exhibition is divided into four sections, which display works from different museums and collections. The selection was intended to favor the return to Villa Adriana the remains that there definitely, or probably, were found there.
The first section includes a series of Hadrian’s and Antinous’ portraits , including the marble bust of the Vatican Museums and the beautiful bronze from the Archaeological Museum of Florence.
The second section focuses on the deification of the young ‘bitinio’, from time to time represented as Apollo, Dionysus, or even as a priest of Attis.
The third section focuses on the recent discoveries of the dall’Antinoeion of the Villa Adriana and, therefore, the representation of Antinous in the guise of Osiris. Hadrian had deified his favorite assimilation with the highest Egyptian God who, according to myth, rise from the waters of the Nile, a symbol of fertility. In the exhibition you can admire the breathtaking portrait of Antinous-Osiris of red quartzite, thanks to the loan from the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden.
The last section focuses on luck of Antinous through the centuries. Among the loans you can admire one of the precious volumes of the “Viaggio pittorico di Villa Adriana ” (Journey painting of Villa Adriana) by Agostino Penna of 1831 – 36, which contains a beautiful portrait of Antinous, now located in the Vatican Museums, in the Sala della Rotonda.
Opening of the Exhibition Wednesday, April 4 at 17.00.
Open from April 5 to November 4, 2012
Villa Adriana, Tivoli Largo Marguerite Yourcenar 1
Information and reservations 06 39967900